Sunday, September 30, 2007

Last tango in Paris



Limerick fans wait for a (Luas) tram to bring them to the train station. They were beaten by Cork who were then well beaten by Kerry.



A new look building in Northwood close to the airport,looks to me like the guy had a faulty level.

The Irish are out of the rugby world cup in Paris, beaten by Argentina the home country of the tango!
Sport is great when you are winning, but it really sucks when you are loosing.
Italia 90 they said "This side had no chance but they didn't listen. Look at them go"
So Jacks lads kicked up a fuss for a few years.

On Pearse st the other day I saw people getting on buses, didn't pass much remarks until they passed me out later."All blacks on tour, Irish supporters World cup 2007" All on the side of the buses. The New Zealand team are in with a more than half decent chance.
Their battle plans are well organized too.

Another world beater departed in France last week Marcel Marceau. I spoke to him once on the telephone years ago,he rang the apartment where I lived looking for Nancy from New York. Nancy was out"who is calling?" It was Marcel himself, I was going to his show the next night and he asked me to come backstage.
Security would not let anyone in so we never met.
I wonder what his last words were?

All nights can take you anywhere and Saturday night was hopping.
Of all the people I picked up 2 people stick in my mind. One girl was was with 2 guys in Ranelagh going to the airport.
We spoke about this and that, then she told me that this trip home was not the end of a chapter in her life.
It was an emergency trip home.
Hurried plans...Dublin to Frankfurt to Malaysia then to the Philippines,during the trip she told me that she worked in a nursing home. "Nursing homes are like any commercial enterprise you know.
They reduce staff and recruit the cheapest labor, the results are not the best".
I told her the old joke.
Look after your children. They will choose your nursing home!

I hold people like this in my prayers.

I hope things work out for you girl.

The other one was every drivers worst nightmare. A drunk Polish guy going to North circular road and Smithfield.As we drove off down Dorset St he started arguing that we should be going on the North Circular Rd(NCR). Stopping the car I persuaded him that I was right. On arrival at Smithfield he directed me into Blackhall Place..over the James Joyce bridge, up to James's St,through Pimlico,down by Dean St. Then I stopped the car when he asked me to go up to Christchurch again.
After much argy bargy I started driving again. Left Right Straight on Stopping at Mespil Rd. I guess he was looking for a hooker all the time, but it left me shaken,this silent stalker behavior would scare anyone.
With all that adrenalin pounding through my system I was shaking.
I must contact that self defence guy who gave me his card a few months ago he was a 6th dan,that is a very good grade, I suppose a drunken guy could not be so bad and he was in the front seat, not coming from behind.

Will post again soon, have to make a tax return.

An Irish traveller goes into a sports shop to buy a baseball bat.
Yes indeed says the salesman would this be a baseball bat for a wedding or perhaps its a baseball bat for a funeral.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

High alert


Wind farm.Still I would not be too happy to have such a structure close to my house.
click on the photo to enlarge it.


Before deregulation there would have been 15 cars at the station. The station is the white building at the end of the line.

The Garda are everywhere and Dublin city is in a state of high alert.
A few days ago a guy saw his car which had been stolen a few months previously driving past him on the street. He rang the Garda and the car was spotted by a Motorcycle cop.
When the Garda stopped the car someone in the car produced a sawn off shotgun and blasted him. He is alive,but as our rank and file law enforcers are unarmed it was a very cowardly act.
This will be the catalyst which will end the gang war which has been going on over the last 18 months or so.
It has been a shooting every week or so,one side taking out the other.

The last time something like this was going it took the murder of a young journalist
Veronica Guerin in 1966 to put a stop to the killing.It still seems like yesterday though it was 11 years ago.We passed the car she was shot in as we were on our way to Naas that day.
The criminals got their asses kicked and the "untouchables" found themselves banged up in Portlaoise prison. This is our Alkatraz.

If the Garda set up a network with the taxi drivers they could distribute information via text and mobile phone.You can set it up on computer.We are thicker on the streets than them after all.
The situation with the young Garda at present is that they just hate our guts and will prosecute us for the least little thing. ie. holding a mobile phone.

Bumped into an old friend, I had not spoken to him in years.
After the usual hellos he told me about his bad luck.
His partner and himself were getting on fine and she was out riding on horseback when she took a fall.
She always wore a helmet but for some reason the hard hat came off and she took the full force of the fall on her head and she was killed.
The life has fallen from his world,"the ground has been kicked from under my feet"
It is important to talk these things through.

Things like this make one keep your own little troubles in perspective.

A long time friend told me the other day how he had to pay over a e million in tax.
"look Robert wouldn't it be worse if you didn't have the money to pay them".
He laughed a lot at the logic of it,but in fact sportsmen and famous actors often fall into this trap. They spend when times are good and when times are hard the tax man puts out his hand.
At least my earnings will not put me into that tax bracket.

Speaking of work back on duty tomorrow.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Northsiders biggest tippers.


Clearys department store on O'Connell St



This is the Wellington monument in the Pheonix park. In memory of the duke of Wellington. Most of the Birtish monuments were blown up by the IRA. the most memorable being Nelsons Colum which stood where the Spire is now on O'Connell St.
I suppose this was too big to blow up.

The people of the North side of the city are hard working,hard drinking,chatty, witty and generous. The people on the south side are not.

Imagine picking up a fare on crowded Stephens Green hundreds of people in line and you bringing them to Stepaside. (This round trip takes you out of the action for 1 1/2 hours) The guy waits for 30c change while he tells you how to get back into town. Even though you brought him all the way there without any help.
Two young hairdressers, one going on holiday,different drop offs. e23 fare. hands me a e50,"just give me back the e20 and have a good night,its been great talking to you"

South side girls when they are alone talk on their phone and blank you out..and when they arrive. "I'm home now I'll ring you back tomorrow". Ie. I will tell my friend on the other end where I am at all times where I am and she will have you arrested if you say or do anything.(I would love to know what happened to her,or should I say what she thinks happened to her at some other time)

Well these are exceptions,but by no means rare exceptions.

Drinkers get so locked its not funny. I just read about the death of a young social worker who overdosed on booze.
Friday night I looked into the face of a girl about to get into the car in Rathmines,she was totally spaced out, her eyes rolling back in her head and her alone,I hit the gas and drove on.
No Northsider would abandon their mate in such a state.
I drove off in a flash,not my problem.
You get hard at a certain point.
Try going back to Mummys or Daddys to try and explain how her little darling tried to slash her wrists or peed or puked on your seats.
Not our Amanda "you are an evil man go away."
Oh for the day when live video footage is available.

I would sooner drive past 100 punters than pick up one homicidal maniac.

A woman in Cork died when she was abandoned by a taxi driver, the inquest said he picked up the lady of 58 at 6.30.pm dropped her home at 6.40 where she fell into her hall. The driver carried in her shopping,she was breathing heavily, face down in the hallway. The driver goes into the neghbours house the Garda were informed at 6,50. He pulled over the patio door and leaves the front door ajar. Garda car gets the call at 7.50 and arrive at 8.05 to find her dead.
People have been saying that taxi drivers have a duty if care,not one word about how you should not drink to excess, or that the publican also has a duty of care.
The garda take 75 mins to respond!
If the taxi driver had been pulling her to her feet when her partner walked in he would have been done for sexual assault! You can't win.

The woman got in near the Northside shopping center.."Ballymun..the fucking bastard I will kill him, he threw me out of the taxi me boyfriend did, well he is out of my life for ever now. Stop up here near the Centra I want to have a "Squat" (a pee)".
Off to Ballymun with plenty of fecking and blinding! A e10 fair and e5 tip.

Hoards of people at the airport, no taxis, they had a great holiday in Bulgaria over to Ballsbridge, then they waited for a lousey c40 change even though I had brought the bags up to the door step while they got out the cash.
Do you ever wonder why service people are rude?

You give it your best shot and thats it.

I wonder do Northsiders tip when heading south? Or are southsiders nervous about not tipping heading northside?

One of the blogs in Florida was saying that a group going on a cruise were left hanging when the driver let slip over the radio that the people who just left the cab demanded 20c change and were not tippers. They were stuck out in the sticks and the cruise ship hooting its whistle,no drivers were responding to their call for a car to go back out to collect them.

Still you should count you blessings that you do mostly get paid.

Last Thursday I got a taxi home and the driver told me he had 3 runners last week he caught one and had to drive back to again Balbriggan to collect his money.
Then the next day at 3pm he picked up 2 guys going to Rathcoole and one of them held a knife to to his throat and robbed him.
The boys in blue were very good,they gave him a cup of tea and a digestive biscuit.

No photos of usual suspects etc.

I think he should buy a lucky charm.

Still most people are honest decent and generous.

Like.

The girl who worked as an "in house" seamstress in a large Dublin store.
The quality of designer labels is just not there any more.
You could put a LABEL on a potato sack and people would buy it.A good conversation followed, she had done a full apprenticeship.London,Paris,Milan and New York

Or the security guard from Albania.
Trained in the army and the police. Told me what it was like when the finances of the country collapsed and you couldn't buy a loaf of bread.
How you could built a 5 story apartment block with 20 apartments for the price of one apartment here in Dublin.
Now he works as a security guard where a guy told him he is going to "blow off his fucking head with a shotgun!" Just for stopping him robbing in the off licence where he works.

Never a dull day.

Or the guy who stopped me and brought me into a gated estate.
Use this code *****
OK drive over to this house and wait.
A big party was going on.
10 seconds later all the alarm bells in my head were ringing.
Experience told me drive away,which I did.
Thank God I had written the gate code on my hand.
The passenger would have been drunk, so drunk that the guy could not have walked him to the main road to get a car himself.
"Mr taxi man" would have been left with the problem.

Not this sucker!(or should that be with an F)

Or the German girls working for DHL with perfect American accents, hope the weekend went well, see you again?

All the Polish people who head off to work at 5.30 to man our shops and hotels.

Remember me! I will be asking you if you will give our kids a start in your businesses when they are old enough.

Yes you will be the bosses in a few years.

My week is nearly done! just tomorrow to go.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Football / Rugby


Heineken who sponsor the world cup rugby put out this poster.
Doheny & Nesbitt pub is on Baggott St.

In the shipping forecast you hear the word "Bailey" it is a lighthouse. It is situated just off Howth.

Loads of people were up for the weekend so it was busy every day.
The Friday night Sat. night was just like Christmas as the GAA football took place in Croke park. Its a bit like the Superbowl but without the soup.
Cork and Kerry met and Cork were well beaten.
You have a few hours of frantic activity as the supporters head for the station to head to or from the match. But the traffic is so heavy for that time that you travel at a snails pace. All the people I were in good humour and one guy in perticular was so drunk that I would say his world is still spinning.
He stopped the car in O'Connell St and insisted in getting in. "Sorry lads I know its your taxi but I will pay the fair. I just have to get to the station."
He had been engaged to a girl from S.America but he had learned she was sleeping with his best mate,He passed around his phone to show us her photo.."Here she is, she is georgous and when I meet her I am going to kill her. No I won't hurt her, the bitch, but I will kill her"
When we reached Heuston station he insisted in paying and then spent 5 minutes talking to her on the phone.
Oh the pain of love, betrayal, booze and a showdown.I would say he was asleep when she arrived at the station.

On Saturday night a very lucky Polish girl got into the Taxi heading to Dundrum.
She told me of her x boyfriend who was Irish and they were engaged. One morning he confided to her that he couldn't sleep at night because he was hearing voices in his head..She was scared, but he would not get help as he had a high profile job and if his employers knew of his mental illness he would loose his job.
She did the right thing and packed her bags and left.
He has met and married another girl and they are going to have a baby soon.

I wonder what the voices are saying now! Scary stuff.

Town is thronged with people,but I went in to see how a new bar is doing here in Dublin, Floridita a Cuban themed bar just off Abbey St. in the Irish life mall and I found that the staff outnumbered the customers 3/1.Live Cuban music.
Wow I suppose it is hard to start up a new enterprise.
Still they say you never see a poor publican.


A splendid white rose in the Autumn sunshine


Saint Patrick from the hill of tara.
His statue is supposed to reside in many homes in Montserrat. They use the statue to represent an ancient Vodoo god who has the power over snakes.

The enforcers from the taxi regulators spent a few days at the airport and something like 42 taxis were put off the road. The rumour mill is rife no insurance, no PSV licence. Cloned cars were all spoken about.
When the cases come to court all will be clear.
Cloned cars is a good swindle.You buy 3 cars the same. Put the same number plate and taxi sign and copy the insurance and tax. Now you have the expense of one taxi with the earning potential of three.You just have to make sure they stay in different parts of town.
I am using this time to service my car and get things lined up for the Christmas rush, but I must get a video camera and film the fiasco that Dublin the worlds taxi capital has become.
Just row after row of taxis driving around in convoy trying to get on to taxi ranks.

I don't know where it will end.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Count your blessings.


"And the dawn came up like


thunder on the road to Mandaly" Terrific sunrise today.

Well heres the car. Thats all thats left of the money.

When we brought the special needs kids out on their outing it made me realise that compared to them I have won the lottery. Yet these kids who had a wide range of handicaps were as happy as happy can be.
They were dancing in their wheelchairs, laughing and making shapes as best they could.
We as able bodied people moan and gripe at every little thing.

Time to change lets get ourselves into a more positive frame of mind and take positive steps through the year ahead.
I have a lot to be thankful for three healthy and clever sons, a job that gives me flexable working conditions and a very varied working day.
On reading Malssa Plauts bookI understand how a vast layer of people have been created and rules have been used to keep them poor and underpaid.
We had some great trade union leadres in Jim Larkin and James Connolly. They put in place procedures where workers earned a wage under safe and fair working conditions.

In America unions were always fought by the police and the national guard. Union leaders were called Commies and Agitators and unAmerican.
The press in most places is tightly controlled by a few big corperations ,so they won't rock the boat.
Children are making the sneakers on your kids feet, is that fair?.
A worker can earn as little as $2 a day.
Is it right that factories exist where officials are not allowed to enter to inspect the workers conditions.If we were right minded people we would insist on a "Fair Trade" label on all our goods.
I am not a fan of Micheal Moore,but he has helped to show us where we are going wrong.
Another good documentary worth see is Wall Mart the high price of selling cheap.
Now there is a company with no moral values.
Some people will have big problems when St.Peter calls them up!.

Hundreds of people have died in Sudan Niger Darfur while I was writing this piece.
Thousands more will die next month because we have become complacent and the media keeps deflecting our attention away from the poverty we are creating in the third world.

Lets give a days pay to buy food and provide aid to the starving millions.

We are all multi million Euro winners just for the fact that we were born here and now.
So spread a bit of goodness around.

The car is an E type Jaguar manufactured by Bburago model no 118
Now for something different look here
That should keep you busy, it changes every few weeks.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lotto

Even if I had never won the lotto I would advise some people to get out more.
Take night classes and learn to tango.
I will be back when the money is spent.Perhaps I should consult another taxi driver

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Dublin taxi drivers big day out for special kids


A very special thank you to Jonnie Walker and the organisors who worked long hours to make this happen and a special thanks to AMBROSIA who sponsor this day at a cost of thousands.
( If a box appears below, click on it and the picture will come up)



New recruit



Were off with the Garda band in front


Nearly ready to go


Group photo



Paddy Dracula gets a grip



Mind my seats



A quiet start



Group photos



Getting a sponsor



The Garda horses were very popular.





Some made a very special effort


video


video video video video video
Look I guess you just had to be there.

Take a day out and join us next year lads. Jo public can do without us.

SHARE THE JOY.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Taxi drivers special outing


Strange one this. Did a motorbike crash into the parked car?, which would explain the dent on the bonnet(hood). Was it towed there?I have never seen such a striking impact


Strange game this cricket! Nothing for a long time then everyone is running around in different directions.

Look we will just move the computer table over there.

Well later on today the good taxi drivers of
Dublin will be taking the whole day off.

Photos and story to follow..







Today

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Hill of Tara


The "Save Tara Camp"

Musicians at the ready with Irish harps.

Pat Kenny making the live open air broadcast

A Sicilian girl gets her photo taken at the ancient burial toumb
She is very easy on the eye. Click on any of the photos to enlarge.

Statue of St.Patrick who is the patron saint of Ireland


Well they came in a hurry. Rush rush rush put up the tape.
Get those bollards into place.
Just giving a bit of a sweep up before dashing off again.
Well these guys were not thinking ahead.
Their dinner might be cold by the time they get home.
This picture was taken at the IFSC in Dublin, sent to Sydney and now sent out again.
Its a classic.

I was passing the Hill of Tara the other,this is a sacred place in Celtic lore.
It is known as the place where the high kings of Ireland were crowned. It should be treated with respect and reverence instead they are planning to run a motorway down along the side of the hill and a 40 acre interchange at the bottom of the hill.
Apart from the noise it will totally devastate a very important historic site.
When I got up to the church they were making a live radio programme at the church.
The Italian group who had their guide did seem to understand the importance of the place and were shocked to see bulldozers buzzing around.

Taxi strike in New York look at New York Hack and Cabs are For Kissing on the right for news.Or pop over here to get a defanition of a scab!

I have been cutting grass and painting and not doing much else.
We have a new visitor to O'Connell St.
The statue of Jesus is back up outside the Gresham hotel.
I thought he was gone forever.



This is the statue which was greeted by a Hispanic looking American as "Look Dad a man in a dress" and dad said "Gee what d'ya know"
I guess it had been a long time since they had been to church.

Hands



The dalers hands



The last horse drawn transport in Dublin



The Casino in Marino

She has rings on her fingers thats for sure.
She said thats great music so I exchanged the tape for a photo of the rings.
If you drive a taxi on the Northside of this city she will not be a stranger to you.
Every day its into town to get methadone and to deal in drugs,her girlfriend is not well at present so she had to go home early.
The other day at Heuston train station I picked up a pair heading up to Rathmines after a weekend away in Galway.
She looked much the worst for wear and he didn't look much better.
The usual banter on the way up,he told me how everywhere was full so they had slept in the doorway of a bead and breakfast but the weather was great and they had a great time.
It was when we stopped at a bank that he started to talk to me.
"She has the virus but I have her back on track now"
We were married for years and then we parted years ago.
When my younger brother died from Aids I took an interest in it and read up on treatment and I work as a sort of nurse looking after sufferers, she had gone off the rails and was not taking her medication properly, she is on around 30 tablets a day, but you have to take them in a certain way. Our son came home from Wales and found her nearly dead so I came back into the picture, I have her nearly sorted now.

You know we have lit up the old spark we had years ago and we are going on out second honeymoon next week.
Our son runs a bead and breakfast in Wales and has 2 other houses he has done well for himself.

You don't have to guess,he was a tipper.

You know that when the blade of the sword passes through the fire it toughens and tempers the steel,it is often true of people too.
When kids watch their parents self-destruct they often work much harder than anyone else,though they sometimes go the same way.

This couple were taking it one day at a time,I wish them the very best for a successful outcome.

The new Europeans are manning our shops and hotels at present and I often feel a bit sad for them as they are so well educated, well yesterday I was told of another success story. A Polish girl who was working as a receptionest for a company.
A job came up in the company but she hesitated to apply for the job until her friend told her to go for it. She got the job, bigger pay and better prospects.

She broke up with her boyfriend too so she has another corner of her life turned as well.
New abode, new job and new boyfriend.
Its funny how your life can twist around in a short time.

Two of my sons have moved house this month too. One to Wales the other to Palmerstown. I wish them every success too.

Seems to be the time of year for change.

Going to take some time off for painting the outside of the house,I have a girl from Lithuania coming to do the inside,she hesitated when I showed her the outside.I think it was a bit high for her.Probably find out she holds an ology in something or other.
She will be here in 2 weeks.I hope.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Counterfit euro warning



Click on photo to enlarge





Oh yes look at your coins and don't get caught.

The pen corner in Dame St. Don't forget to buy a quality pen here when you pick up your scroll at Trinity college.

The Indian outside the Break for the border night club Stephens st.
I remember when he carried a bow!

Well the weekend was a washout for me picked up a bug and slept all Friday and Saturday night. woke up at 11.30 Sun so I must have been bad.
Perhaps I have been working too hard.

When I think of my friend John 10 years younger having a heart attack a few weeks ago,makes me realize that a few days off now and again is not a bad thing.
My mate John is back at work now,none the worst for the experience but a lot wiser.

I will probably pick up on the lost revenue tonight.
Hurling final Kilkenny beat Limerick.
So plenty of work on the streets.

Last week I picked up a Chinese girl with her young daughter going out to Blancherdstown. She was telling me that she was bringing her daughter back to China so that her parents could mind her.
Child care here is so expensive.
She found out she was pregnant soon after she arrived in Ireland and had the baby here,later on she brought her daughter back to China where her parents minded her.
Her Irish boyfriend and herself brought her daughter back, but her boyfriend could not stand all the crying and attention that a child needs,so they had split up.
Now she was bringing her daughter back to China again.
Complications with visas caused delays with her flight and the change of departure date had cost her another e600.It was a return trip back into town,so we spoke a lot.
This girl needs a big brother or sister to keep her in line, the way she is going I can see her life going off course in a dramatic fashion.
How else do girls suddenly find themselves working as vice girls or drug couriers?
Desperate needs take desperate measures,and her life is right out of kilter.
I hope it all works out for her but taking the kid out of Ireland causes complications and affects the childs status when she is brought out of the country.

I wish her well thought.

The other unusual guy I met was over talking to the bank about the disaperence of e50,000 from his bank account.
He was awarded money and put it in a non resadent account as he is living in London. He noticed money leaving the account and he rang the bank to put a freeze on the account.The withdrawels continued until they rang him to say his account was e2,000 overdrawn.
He was getting nowhere on the phone so he had come over to sort it out.
All he had been able to find out was that the transactions had been done with his "Chip & Pin"card. A card which he never got.
They made me come over from the UK to sign for the first card.
How come they posted the second one out?
Why did they not freeze the account when asked?
It hurt him a lot when they said that he must be doing the withdrawels himself.
The bank official then called him "Buddy"
So the now the same solicitor who got him the settlement has been engaged to get it back again.
I told him that a bank official had called me "Buddy" one day, so I closed my bank account the next day, the manager rang me to ask why I closed the account, he thought I was over reacting.
I think not,customers deserve respect and that attitude is not a professional one.
Perhaps Judges will be turning up in sneakers and jeans.
Bishops will arrive on skateboards.
It just is not right for me.
I give respect to my customers and I expect good manners and courtesy in return.
Then again I am the kind of fecker that expects a car salesman to approach me when I walk into a car salesroom. Which is why I have only once bought a car from a main dealer.
I bought a lot of cars over the last 30 years.
Thats a lot of sales lost lads!

I have been saying something for years and my old friend Robert says "put it to music,it might be a hit" Houses are overpriced and people are borrowing far too much. 40 year loans are the norm and interest is going up,people are living too far beyond their means, just put it on the card is the solution to everything.

Headline in the Evening Herald last week House price drops e103K in one week.

People bought a house and then the auctioneer drops the price for the next devolipment to take account of the changing market. So will everyone hold back until they knock off another e100K
Builders have stopped building since Easter,Polish workers have been kept on to finish houses which have been already sold,the Irish workers were paid off, but things are being scaled back now.

Lets hope that all the redundant workers will not become taxi drivers.

School is back and the sun has come out, soon the Swallows will line up on the telegraph wires to discuss their flight plans to S.Africa or wherever they all go to.
It is quite a trip, no sat nav, first time for many and they make it back to the same roost they(or their parents) left 6 months ago.

Nature is wonderful.